James Lindsay walks into Suite 820 a little after nine in the morning. His uniform is standard: classic button down shirt carefully tucked into pressed dress pants, a black shoulder bag and a grande skim vanilla latte and muffin from the bakery down the street. Stacks of papers dot his office floor. They form neat rows, like a life-size crossword puzzle, but serve an ultimate purpose: helping the executive director organize a wealth of information and make sure it’s all attended to. He stays at the office most days until after 6pm.
Pictures decorate his file drawers. The formal one of his parents shows them in their age, several show his two dogs, which he walks every morning, and on his wall hangs a collage of photos of staff from a birthday celebration. They are just glimpses into Lindsay’s life of service and some of the people that have contributed to it—from childhood, to the seminary, to Christ House, to Catholic Volunteer Network.
When Lindsay arrived in 1996, the organization was called the Catholic Network of Volunteer Service. About 4,200 volunteers served in CNVS’ programs, website creation had only begun months before and the RESPONSE directory had yet to go online. Today, the 10 story office building in Takoma Park is Lindsay’s fourth office location, about 18,000 volunteers serve within the organization’s member programs and the name has been changed to what is currently Catholic Volunteer Network (CVN). Lindsay has seen a lot in 17 years.
“This has been Jim’s life,” said Fr. George Mader, who co-founded what is today known as CVN with his sister in 1963. “He hasn’t given certain talents, he’s given himself.”